The beginning of each New Year for me is a time to reflect and set goals to achieve my highest priorities in the coming year.
As I look back upon 2012, as well as prior years, I have noticed one philosophy that has served our team best. Creating a company where each and every team member can benefit at a level equal or higher to the level of effort contributed, while enjoying a fulfilling work experience is that philosophy. Not always perfect I will admit, but it sure has stood the test of time.
That is the foundation with which great things can be achieved. A happy, focused team can truly achieve great things.
Quick story. When I was first married, my wife Shannon and I decided to open a coffee shop. Shannon’s recollection of events would have you believe I decided to open a coffee shop and dragged her along. Anyway, one of the regular customers I still think about is Professor Loban. Richard was a Doctor of Anthropology at Rhode Island College. One morning Richard told me something that has since shaped my way of thinking dramatically. Over a freshly brewed cup of coffee one morning, Richard said, “I’ll tell you Paul, every morning I wake up and can’t believe they pay me to do what I do. I love it so much, I would do it for free.” From that moment on I have believed the right group of people could create a company where each and every team member loved to work. Just imagine the power that could be created with so many happy team members focused on a single goal.
The power of a well focused team can effect positive change at an exponential rate, for both the customer and team member. So how do we make this happen? There are countless books, experts and business schools to help, but the fact is, there are a million formulas for success and each one is changing every day.
For me, it’s about getting to the core of what drives each and every team member. Sounds like a lot of work? It is. But worth it. In general, a company culture will have several personality types. Sales, Marketing, Operations, Finance will all have it’s own distinct personality where different things will be important to each of these groups. It’s your job as a leader to figure out how you can help that individual maximize their work experience. Find out what they love to do, get out of their way, and let them do it.
Accomplish this and you will truly serve the greater good, or at least what I consider the greater good. The customer, team member and you all win with a higher quality of life. What a way to kick off a new year.
Thanks for reading!